Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

At 2,571 feet, Mount Tamalpais’ East Peak is the highest point in Marin County. On a clear day the 360-degree panorama from Mount Tam’s true summit are hard to beat and arguably the best in the bay area. You'll enjoy sweeping vistas of the San Pablo and San Franciso bays, East Bay, San Francisco's skyline, Mount Diablo, the Marin Headlands, West Marin and the Pacific Ocean. Mount Tamalpais State Park maintains a road that connects the western portion of the park to East Peak and allows visitors to drive within 0.3 miles of the summit. The remaining distance must be huffed on foot via the Plankwalk Trail. The trail ends at the summit and Gardner Fire Lookout, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid-1930s and is still in use today by the Marin County Fire Department.

Nearly a half-mile high, the climate on East Peak is drier and cooler than the western slopes of the park. The air can be quite cold and windy on the summit, so don’t forget to bring layers to keep warm. A network of trails  beginning lower on the mountain, including the Fern Creek Trail, wind their way up to the East Peak Visitor Center and parking area and make for a good  half-day excursion. Of historical note: from 1896 to 1930, a train car called Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway transported visitors from Mill Valley to the top of Mount Tam along the Old Railroad Grade; the grade is now a popular hiking and mountain biking route. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Home to some of the best views in the bay area. Short hike.

Cons

Crowded on clear weekend days.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Big vistas

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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